Fresh Creamed Corn

This is NOT your mama's can of creamed corn! Instead, it's Alton Brown's recipe for homemade creamed corn, full of summer-fresh corn sweetness and real corn kernels, accented with fresh rosemary or fresh lavender. This is absolutely gorgeous, a must-make recipe when summer's sweet corn is at its finest.

Fresh Creamed Corn

Families sometimes give special names to special foods and even not-so-special but favorite dishes. There’s the alphabet name: ask for HMO when you’d like my friend Elise to cook up hamburger with macaroni and onions. There’s the toddler name: ask for a poobah fafa and you’ll get a peanut butter sandwich in my then-baby sister’s lingo.

As a kid, a ‘Deluxe’ was mashed potatoes topped by creamed corn poured from a can, my mother’s attempt to extend leftovers with an incongruous air of 'haute'. I loved that comfort-food combination then, still do!

As an adult, a cook and a foodie, however, I revel in re-discovering the fresh versions of vegetables today known in their less-than-fresh forms.

FRESH CREAMED CORN is nothing like the toothless stuff from a can. The kernels are plump and full of corn flavor. All on its own, no mashed potatoes required, it’s a luxurious side vegetable, deluxe indeed.

ALANNA's TIPS Half & half may be substituted for milk but at least to my taste, cream is too rich. To ‘husk’ corn is to remove the outer inedible leaves and silk. Husking is a messy job, one best done on the back step or with newspaper lining the sink. I call the scraping technique ‘milking’ the cob. It bumps up the sweet corn flavor. To gently cook onions until they’re translucent, without browning, is called ‘sweating’. The leftovers reheat beautifully so don't hesitate to make a big batch, FRESH CREAMED CORN will keep for several days.
Kitchen Parade is written by second-generation food columnist Alanna Kellogg and features fresh, seasonal dishes for every-day healthful eating and occasional indulgences. What special dish has a special name in your family? Share a recipe that other Kitchen Parade readers might like! Just send me a quick e-mail via How to print a Kitchen Parade recipe. Never miss a recipe! If you like this recipe, sign up for a free e-mail subscription. Follow Kitchen Parade on Facebook!


Garden luxury, straight to the table
Hand-on time: 20 minutes (mostly husking)
Time to table: 30 minutes
Makes about 4 cups (easy to halve)
  • 8 ears fresh corn
  • 1 tablespoon bacon fat or butter
  • 1/2 an onion, diced small
  • Kosher salt to taste
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric (or curry powder, for color only so optional)
  • 2 tablespoons yellow cornmeal (not stone-ground)
  • Sprig of fresh rosemary or fresh lavender, optional
  • 1 cup whole milk (see TIPS)
  • Salt & especially pepper to taste

Leaving stems on for handles, husk the corn (see TIPS). With one hand, hold an ear tip-down in center of a large bowl. With a knife, slice off swaths of corn kernels top to bottom. When kernels are off, use the knife’s dull edge to scrape the cob top to bottom on all sides, collecting remaining pulp and milk in the bowl (see TIPS).

In a large skillet, melt bacon fat on medium til shimmery. Add onion, cook gently til translucent (see TIPS). Add corn and salt, cook for 2 – 3 minutes, stirring often, til liquid begins to cook off. Stir in sugar, turmeric, cornmeal and rosemary or lavender. Add milk, cook til corn is soft, 2 – 3 minutes. Remove rosemary or lavender, season to taste.

Serve and savor, immediately or if you like, make in advance and gently rewarm.

NUTRITION ESTIMATE (How many calories in Fresh Creamed Corn? How many Weight Watchers points in Fresh Creamed Corn?) Per Half Cup: 175 Calories; 6g Protein; 4g Tot Fat; 2g Sat Fat; 33g Carb; 4g Fiber; 338mg Sodium; 5mg Cholesterol; Weight Watchers 3 points
Adapted from Better Than Grannie's Creamed Corn from Alton Brown where cooks describe the recipe with words like "excellent" and "divine". This recipe has been 'Alanna-sized'.

More Recipes for Summer's Best Sweet Corn

(hover for a description, click a photo for a recipe)
Fresh Corn & Tomato Salad Summer Seafood Chowder Sweet Potato Salad
~ more corn recipes ~
from Kitchen Parade

Quick Corn in the Microwave
Grilled Corn with Chipotle Lime Browned Butter
Warm Tomato, Corn & Okra Salad
~ more corn recipes ~
from A Veggie Venture, my food blog about vegetables

More Easy Summer Vegetable Recipes

(hover for a description, click a photo for a recipe)
Ratatouille Red & Yellow Pepper Relish Shredded Zucchini with Thyme

~ more salad recipes ~


This is the last Kitchen Parade column to appear in print in my local papers, as they tighten their belts to face a weak economy. It’s been a thrill to write for you, to hear from readers touched by the stories or inspired by the recipes, to carry on the column my mom started nearly 50 years ago. I thank you, I thank Dwight and Don and all the staff at the papers.

But -- good news, new Kitchen Parade recipes will continue to be published here online at First, I've already written nearly a year's worth of new columns. Second, I also publish online only recipes, family favorites like my Mom's Blueberry Coffeecake and Homemade Frozen Yogurt with Blackberry Sauce.

Plus -- e-mail subscriptions are free, just sign up to receive recipes via e-mail. There’s no distinctive red bag but home delivery is free, just like the paper.

Once you're subscribed, watch your InBox for more recipes with that special Kitchen Parade style: fresh and seasonal ingredients; classic recipes, though often with a twist and often simplified; real ingredients, especially pantry ingredients; an emphasis on getting supper on the table; recipes for family gatherings and special occasions. Plus, there are occasional extras, right now I'm thinking about How to Save Money on Groceries.

Recently on A Veggie Venture

~ Seared Radicchio, deliciousness in 10 minutes flat ~
~ Weight Watchers Zero Point Italian Soup ~
~ Rhubarb Pizza, better than it sounds! ~
~ Vegetables for Children ~

If you like Kitchen Parade's recipes, for more scratch cooking recipes using whole, healthful ingredients, do visit A Veggie Venture, my food blog, home to the Alphabet of Vegetables where there's a vegetable in every recipe and vegetables in every course.

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(helping home cooks save money on groceries)
Alanna Kellogg
Alanna Kellogg

A Veggie Venture is home of "veggie evangelist" Alanna Kellogg and the famous asparagus-to-zucchini Alphabet of Vegetables.


  1. Once again, Alanna, you amaze me. I would never ever think to make creamed corn. The canned corn is just too awful. This looks beautiful, the color especially.

  2. Anonymous7/25/2008

    The corn looks just great. Our farmers market will have corn tomorrow.

  3. Oh, Alanna! I'm so sorry about the papers cancelling your wonderful column. I hope their readers complain loudly and profusely and they re-up your contract.

    In re the corn: cornmeal?!? Seriously?? I've never seen that ingredient in any creamed corn recipe I've had. Wouldn't it be "grainy"? Interesting...veeery interesting.

  4. Cara ~ isn't the color just so pretty?!

    Anonymous ~ timing is everything!

    Sally ~ thank you, friend. I'm broken-hearted about it, for sure. But it's also helped me think through how to expand Kitchen Parade online and of course, there's irony that so much content is moving online (not just recipes but everything) and that is one of the very pressures the papers are experiencing.

    As for the cornmeal, it acts as a slight thickener (think polenta) which further separates the consistency from canned cream corn. That said, I did test with my favorite stone-ground cornmeal and yes, it IS too grainy. So just the plain yellow cornmeal is the trick, although optional.

  5. I love creamed corn too, but definitely not the stuff in a can. :P HAS to be homemade! Great recipe!

  6. kirsten7/28/2008

    Thanks again for the inspiration!
    I boiled up the remaining ears of our Delaware farmer's market corn before it got too old, then noticed I had all the ingredients for my mom's corn casserole. Voila-scrape the kernels off the cobs, mix with Jiffy cornmeal muffin mix, eggs, butter, a can of creamed corn, substitute Greek yogurt for sour cream and bake. Presto! Fresh tasting, used up pantry ingredients, and got side dishes for a few nights.
    I even made it this morning when it was cooler, and will nuke to reheat for dinner.

    (Yes, I realize I am commenting about a recipe I didn't even bother to make, but you INSPIRED me to update an old favorite, so thanks!)

    I think it's terrible that your column will only be online, but I'm glad you're still online!

  7. Charlie8/20/2008

    Each week, the item in the Webster-Kirkwood Times that I looked forward to the most was your "Kitchen Parade" column. Just reading the columns was enjoyable, and I usually clipped them with the intention of preparing the recipes. And I was a little surprised when your creamed corn column started out with praise of local newspapers. I was much disappointed when I read that it was to be your last column. From this reader's point of view, management at the Times made an error in judgment.

    Fortunately, website technology means that I won't have to stop being your reader altogether. And it's ironic, too, in that the very same application of technology is contributing to the cost squeeze that you (so generously) mention as forcing newspaper management to make tough choices.

  8. Your recipe calls for 2 T yellow cornmeal - NOT STONE-GROUND. Why *not* stone-ground? Please enlighten me here...

  9. Hi Heidi ~ I don't remember specifically but when I state something so strongly, it's because it didn't work. My suspicion is that there's just not enough time for the cornmeal to cook (same thing with grits, some times) and that the texture is too coarse. I didn't used to make the distinction but once I started using stone-ground so much (and have it more usually on hand) so I've learned the hard way!


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Thank you for taking a moment to write! I read each and every comment, for each and every recipe. If you have a specific question, it's nearly always answered quick-quick. But I also love hearing your reactions, your curiosity, even your concerns! When you've made a recipe, I especially love to know how it turned out, what variations you made, what you'll do differently the next time. ~ Alanna